Managing Electrical Maintenance Chores


Managing Electrical Maintenance Chores

(1) What should owner do when tenants call to say there is a power tripping in the house?

Most owners will panic and quickly call an electrician to the tenanted unit.

At the first place, before you call in an electrician, owner should ask the tenant one simple question:

“Is there a black-out in your block or in the whole estate?”

If yes – ask the tenant to call either the town council (if is HDB) or the MCST (if is condominium) or SP Power (if is landed properties). This would be a bigger problem but will be solved by the relevant authorities so there is nothing you can do except to wait for authorities to come to rectify the problem.
Electrical maintenance

However, if there is no black-out in the whole block, then ask tenant the next question:

“What was the last switch, power sockets or electrical appliance that someone in the house had used just BEFORE the power tripping?”

Many a times, faulty appliances are the culprits in a power tripping. If the tenant can identify the appliance that they last used, while observing all safety rules, he/she should turn off the switch of this particular appliance. Once done, tenant should then turn the circuit breaker back to normal. If it doesn’t trip again, then the fault may lie in this particular appliance. Next would then be to ascertain who this appliance belongs to (the owner? or the tenant?). Then, respective parties would bear the cost of rectifying.

However, if is not this particular appliance, while observing all safety rules, then tenant should check all appliances, switches or power sockets that were last used one by one. It may not be the last, last appliance, switch or power socket used, but it may be one of the last few used by the tenant. If tenant is not familiar with all these trouble shooting, then ask the tenant to engage an electrician to assist him/her to do the job.

If tenant is able to find the fault from the appliances, switches or power sockets, then this will save the tenant or even the owner money as there is no need to engage electrician on an urgent basis. This is because the cost of engaging an electrician in the middle of the night is high, especially so if the power tripping happens on Saturday or Sunday night . If tenant is able to pin point which appliance, switch or power socket that is giving the problem, then stop using it. Do not call for an electrician to come immediately (if is night/weekend nights). Simply wait for the next day or during weekdays so the cost of engaging an electrician is much lower.

One thing to take note. Before engaging an electrician to come by, owners and tenants should ascertain who is going to bear the cost of this trouble shooting job. If the tenant is paying, then is the tenant responsible to pay only for the minimum amount under Minor Repair Clause and owner paying the excess above that (refer to your Tenancy Agreement on this amount)? This is always a grey area and not mention in the Letter of Intent (LOI) or the Tenancy Agreement (TA). So, it is better to spell it out clearly in these 2 documents before the tenancy begins.

If you need further clarification of the above issue, please contact us to find out more.

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